Should the thought, “Man, I wish my next visit to Taco Bell could be just a skosh more ironic and/or exclusive and/or include balloons” ever have occurred to you, then boy oh boy, you are precisely the target audience for this news. Taco Bell today announced a pilot program for “PARTY by Taco Bell,” which a representative describes as “postmodern party concept.” In brief, it’s a way to make a reservation for a couple of Taco Bell tables and have decorations and stuff waiting for you when you arrive. The food is not included. Only the PARTY is included.
First things first: If you are that precise target audience described above, you might want to hop to it, because this first go-round is only available through December 22. Go ahead, we’ll wait.
Now that you’re set, we’ll continue. PARTY by Taco Bell parties, intended to help celebrate (per a press release) “life’s biggest milestones or those ‘just because’ occasions,” will set the discerning diner back $25—though there are, of course, available add-ons that can increase the price. That basic package will outfit zealous or ironical taco fans with a Taco Bell Party Decor Kit, which includes a table runner, 10 paper plates, and a photo prop kit in either “Electric” or “Luxe” styles.
Add-ons include novelty shades, sauce packet balloons, extra table runners and plates, photo props, and gift cards suitable for use as party favors. We gave the booking site a whirl, and wound up with a $53 total, after adding the glasses and balloons. Of course, you’d still need food—luckily, Taco Bell now sells those Party Packs (no caps on that party, it’s just a regular party).
The reason for the celebratory effort is, in short, that people seem to want stuff like this. Here’s Marisa Thalberg, the Bell’s global chief brand officer, in a press release:
“After introducing ‘Taco Bell Weddings’ in our Las Vegas Cantina and seeing the huge response—we have had 110 weddings booked there in just over a year—there was a clear need and opportunity to translate this intersection of fun, cool, and accessible entertaining to any kind of occasion… For the most devout Taco Bell fans to those who will just find this kitschy cool, we are about to make it easy to become the perfect postmodern party host.”
The decor kits are also available to purchase for your own use, in case you need a new table runner for Thanksgiving or want to throw an at-home PARTY. Those are also $25, plus a shipping fee.
Taco Bell isn’t the first chain to make a play for holiday/event dining. White Castle has offered tableside service on Valentine’s Day for more than 25 years, Denny’s conducted Valentine’s Day weddings in Las Vegas this year, and a London McDonald’s went very fancy for a day. All that’s very well and good—but do those events come with table runners?